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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
RA/XCR Development & Background Info?

While I eagerly await the delivery of my 6.8 XCR, I thought it would be interesting to read more about the rifle, it's development and RA in general. Does anyone know where I could find any detailed info? I would really like to read about the SOCOM/SCAR weapns trial and how/when the XCR was designed, prototypes, testing, how/when RA got started, etc. Any details out there???
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: RA/XCR Development & Background Info?

Thanks XCR-Fin! That was a good start! Had some good links with more info too. ;)
Anyone know of any other sources?
......and how is it that the XCR was disqualified from the SCAR trials just because of the blank firing device? There had to be some bad politics envolved. :mad:
 

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Re: RA/XCR Development & Background Info?

Thanks XCR-Fin! That was a good start! Had some good links with more info too. ;)
Anyone know of any other sources?
......and how is it that the XCR was disqualified from the SCAR trials just because of the blank firing device? There had to be some bad politics envolved. :mad:
Not really. According to those testers that looked at the XCR back then, it had/has some features that they liked/found interesting and were looking forward to further evaluation/testing.

While I think that there was some institutional bias against small companies (not without reason), what you attribute to some nefarious conspiracy is really nothing more then a big, bloated, cumbersome, inflexable, bureaucracy doing what it does best.

The .gov does some rather stupid things.

Example:

To get a SBA loan, you need to submit a business proposal by a certain date, with a certain font, with a certain font size, with 1" margins, and no more than 50 pages (I think?).

They hire part-time workers to review all the proposals that come their way.

Their job is to:
See that the time stamp on the envelope is no later than the end date.
Count the number of pages.
Use a template frame to ensure the margains are correct.
Use a clear template with the correct spacing, font, and font size.

Everything that does not meet the criteria is rejected as failing to follow instructions.

Now, within that pile of rejects could be the next "big thing", but they will not get any "free Gub'mint" monies, from the SBA.

Is this just when a half-ass BS idea gets our tax dollars and a good idea is rejected?

I would say no, but then how would you devise a system of review and approval for everything from paper clips to uranium procurement?

It is like the old saying, if the only tool you have in your toolbox is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

The .GOV procurement system is rigid, inflexable, and not capable of proportionality. Just accept it.

Look, the FN carbine is nice, though its LOS is even higher off the bore than the XCR.

Is it actually BETTER than the XCR? Don't know, all I've ever seen of the FN SCAR rifle is at the FNH displays and getting to hold one at the York, PA/SAR East gun show two weeks ago.

The XCR is a reality for us, the avg. citizen. For that, Alex and his crew should be commended for bringing the XCR to the marketplace.
 

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Re: RA/XCR Development & Background Info?

Here is a great video and gun by gun analysis regarding dust test of the M4, SCAR, HK416 and HK XM8. (Done by the Associated Press of all people)

The president of Colt is a moron. Did he forget about the AK's combat history and the benefits gained from a gas piston?

http://hosted.ap.org/specials/interactives/wdc/military_rifle/index.html

Here is a full partial PowerPoint dust test presentation. Also very nice.
http://combatreform.com/defrev/ExtremeDustTestBriefv35.ppt
 

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Re: RA/XCR Development & Background Info?

Here is a great video and gun by gun analysis regarding dust test of the M4, SCAR, HK416 and HK XM8. (Done by the Associated Press of all people)

The president of Colt is a moron. Did he forget about the AK's combat history and the benefits gained from a gas piston?

http://hosted.ap.org/specials/interactives/wdc/military_rifle/index.html

Here is a full PowerPoint dust test presentation. Also very nice.
http://combatreform.com/defrev/ExtremeDustTestBriefv35.ppt


The story is bias and does not explain everything that goes into the $1,500 per M-4. Also, the president of Colt is not a moron.

Each M-4 Colt makes has to come with a cleaning kit because the DoD cannot supply enough cleaning supplies to servicemembers.

I know because I have bought/shipped Bore Snakes and Break Free (CLP and Bore Foam), along with thousands of patches to my old unit, 2nd BCT, 82nd Abn Div and I hear about this, to some extent, from each group of vets I meet.

If these guys can't get the supplies from normal channels, then Army Procurement is broken and not the M-4, per se.

Actually, the PowerPoint is a brief and not the full, final, evaluation. Most likely, we citizens will never hear about the final results.

The dust chamber tests are like doing accuracy testing in a sand storm. Not sure how valid the test is or what the test is supposed to represent, and neither to the testers. The test is what it is.

This test was done the following way:
10 HK-416 examples were requested from H&K.
10 SCAR-L examples were requested from FNH.
10 M-4 examples were pulled from stock.
10 final block XM-8 examples were pulled from storage.

The 10 H&K's had their proprietary STANG magazines
The 10 FNH's had their proprietary STANG magazines
The 10 M-4's had STANG magazines pulled from stock.
The 10 XM-8's had their proprietary magazines and were not STANG.

The test shows that the M-4 suffers from weak extraction and feeding from the issue magazines. This is a known issue.

The power point also shows the 307 stoppage number from the Spring 2007 test of the M-4 Carbine and M-16A4 Rifle. This is the "final" number that they came up with, after "review" from analysis of the raw Spring 2007 test data.

The raw number from the earlier M-4 dust chamber test is 678, and the raw number for the M-16A4 is 507.

Again, most of the issues from the Spring 2007 dust chamber test came from Failures to Feed from the magazine and Failures to Extract the expended round from the chamber.

No mention was made if the M-4's, in either dust chamber test, had the Crane 'O' ring on the extractor, to further increase tension on the extractor. This item is on each SOCOM M-4A1, but not mandatory on the general issue M-4's. Since it is not general issue, I would have to assume that they were not.

No mention was made if the M-4's, in either dust chamber test, had the, post 2004, black extractor insert, to increase tension on the extractor. One would assume so, but given that these carbines were just pulled from stock, who knows.

One wonders if using either the H&K, or the FNH. magazines would have reduced the magazine issues in both M-4 tests.

One wonders if using the general issue 30 round magazine the H&K, or the FNH. would have increased magazine related issues in the dust chamber.

And as for the AK. When the Army/USMC tested an AKM against the M-16A1E1 (later to be the M-16A2) they found that without placing the safety on, thereby closing the slot for the reciprocating charging handle, the AKM would choke so badly that most AK kool-aid drinkers would not believe it.

In fact, the only weapon that tested worse, in the dust chamber, than the AKM with the safety off, was the M-14, with its exposed receiver and bolt.

When the AKM had is safety on, it's reliability was said to be "on par" with the M-16A1E1.

Now considering that this was done back in 1982/3 and that the people who were in charge of these tests are all retired, the chances of actually getting this information from DoD is approximately zero. So we are forced to rely on people's memories and their personal notebooks/diaries. Therefore there is no way to quantify just what "on par" means.

How does all of this relate to the XCR?
 

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Re: RA/XCR Development & Background Info?

So maybe moron was too strong a word . He is definitely in denial though. As the owner of the "M4 Kool-Aid" factory I guess his response was to be expected. For the record I don't own an AK nor will I ever. My point was not that the AK was a superior rifle, but leaving out the AK was more than a minor omission. And here's how this relates to the XCR:

AK47- gas piston
SCAR - gas piston
HK416 - gas piston
HK XM8 - gas piston
XCR - gas piston
M4 - gas impingement

I'm not trying to stir up anything and I'm certainly no gun expert. I just thought it fit with the original poster's information request SCAR, testing etc....
 

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Re: RA/XCR Development & Background Info?

So maybe moron was too strong a word . He is definitely in denial though. As the owner of the "M4 Kool-Aid" factory I guess his response was to be expected. For the record I don't own an AK nor will I ever. My point was not that the AK was a superior rifle, but leaving out the AK was more than a minor omission. And here's how this relates to the XCR:

AK47- gas piston
SCAR - gas piston
HK416 - gas piston
HK XM8 - gas piston
XCR - gas piston
M4 - gas impingement

I'm not trying to stir up anything and I'm certainly no gun expert. I just thought it fit with the original poster's information request SCAR, testing etc....


Understood.

The reason why no AK-74M, or AK-100 series, carbine was tested is because they are not in inventory and never will be.

M-4 - General Issue Carbine
HK-416 - Limited Issue Carbine by SOCOM
MK-16 SCAR-L - Undergoing field evaluation by SOCOM
XM-8 - Still in inventory

Everyone seems to be on the 'I hate gas impingement' bus since Paul Leitner-Wise popularized that phrase a couple of years ago.

The direct gas tube design does what is was supposed to do, which was to eliminate parts and keep the overall weight of the firearm down.

There are issues with the M-4, but the Infantry Branch, which is the PM, will not allow any incremental improvements or changes to it because:

1) It works well enough right now. (Kinda true, but 'well enough' doesn't leave me with a warm fuzzy inside.)
2) What about all the parts already in the pipeline? (If you bought enough of the newer parts, you could replace every part in DoD inventory in 90 days. They just do not want to spend either the $$ or effort to do so.)
3) Were are waiting for a Phased-plasma rifle in the forty watt range (OK maybe not, but they have been waiting since 1972 for increased hit potential).
4) How will the incremental improvements or changes increase my chances for Full Bird and/or put Stars on my shoulders? (The real reason why a POS carbine like the XM-8 is still hanging around.)

The only thing that the Infantry did allow, after much arguing and pouting, was the M-4A1 which has:
1) A heavier barrel, so allow for longer periods of fully automatic fire without the barrel bursting.
2) The standardization of the 'H' buffer and the permitted upgrade to the H2/H3 as wear occurs on the M-4A1.
3) The use of an high temp. 'O' ring surrounding the extractor spring assembly to provide 'extra' power for the extractor.

This is why the MK18 uppers are, in fact, not part of the M-16/M-4 TDP and bought directly from LMT.

The SCAR was a way for SOCOM to design what they needed without other Branches being involved. They would be the PM, they would control everything, soup to nuts.

This also meant that whatever Colt came up with had not a chance in hell of every being adopted by SOCOM.

As they say, paybacks are a bi*ch, and SOCOM was going to pay Colt back for not listening to them.

Since the SOCOM asshats could not be flexable with RA and the XCR (like the USMC is being with LWRC and their IAR), we will never know how the XCR would have fared against the FNH carbine.

What I do know is that I can get a XCR now, and not have to wait/pray that the either Dem loses the White House in November, or that they can get production up and running before January 2009, like the SCAR/HK-416/ACR...
 

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Re: RA/XCR Development & Background Info?

What I do know is that I can get a XCR now, and not have to wait/pray that the either Dem loses the White House in November, or that they can get production up and running before January 2009, like the SCAR/HK-416/ACR...
Amen to that. I own a HK SL8-1 which is a piston operated .223 and my reason for jumping on the piston band wagon. That plus the politics mentioned are part of the reason I ordered an XCR.

Thought you'd find this interesting. Not sure how I feel about it yet.

Sorry werra..... :hijack:
 

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Re: RA/XCR Development & Background Info?

What I do know is that I can get a XCR now, and not have to wait/pray that the either Dem loses the White House in November, or that they can get production up and running before January 2009, like the SCAR/HK-416/ACR...
Amen to that. I own a HK SL8-1 which is a piston operated .223 and my reason for jumping on the piston band wagon. That plus the politics mentioned are part of the reason I ordered an XCR.

Thought you'd find this interesting. Not sure how I feel about it yet.

Sorry werra..... :hijack:
DOH!! :duh:

OP, sorry about the thread hijack. ;)

Yea, I've seen that test before.

There is one organization in DoD that mandates this requirement.

Any guesses? ::)

This is another point. There is an upgrade to the issue M-16/M-4 series that would allow them to pass this test because no currently made M-16/M-4 will pass this test.

Crane looked at the technology and wanted to 'flesh it out' (re: buy some and beat the snot out of it).

Thing is, who is the PM for the M-16/M-4 series?

That's right, the US Army Infantry Branch.

They looked at the request and said that it would not add anything to the existing TDP and would not allow an upgrade because it would complicate supply issues.

WTF??? :eek:

We were talking about one, small, group of servicemembers from a different service, asking for a limited upgrade which would never be general issue and they were told, NO!!

This is what I mean by inflexable asshatery.

This just reinforces what I was taught at Benning's School for Boys. "The Soviet's are our adversary, but the Navy is our enemy."

Beginging to see just why SOCOM has a hard-on for the Mk16?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Re: RA/XCR Development & Background Info?

No problem - I don't see your posts as a hijack! I just like learning more about XCR! Some interesting points were made. Thanks for the info! Keep it coming!
 

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Re: RA/XCR Development & Background Info?

No problem - I don't see your posts as a hijack! I just like learning more about XCR! Some interesting points were made. Thanks for the info! Keep it coming!
I think that if you are looking for R&D info regarding the XCR, Alex and his crew would be the best starting point, as they know where the bodies are buried, so to speak.

Best as I know (which might not be very much), the XCR started when the SPR-V was cancelled (due mostly, IMO, to the fact that RA's model, the RAV02, was better than KAC's SR-47).

SOCOM then brought the SPR-V and SCAR programs together, killed the SPR-V, then added a requirement for round interchangeability in the SCAR program.

On 23 March, 2004 SOCOM changed the requirements for EGLM so that is was to be compatible with the SCAR-L, SCAR-H, as well as be a stand alone weapon.

On 25 March, 2004 SOCOM changed the requirements for SCAR to include the requirement for EGLM compatibility.

This gave the SCAR participants two months to 'make it happen'.

Now, the leader for the EGLM contract was FNH, of Columbia SC.

FNH, of Columbia SC was also submitting a carbine for the SCAR competition.

Now, two months out, the program in which FNH had the inside track on was merged into a program in which FNH was submitting examples.

FNH said that they had to do no redesign of their SCAR examples because they were designed to be compatible with the EGLM from the outset.

???

I'm not sayin', just sayin' Ya know what I mean.

Another example of this is in the so-called Crane 'O' ring.

M-4's were having issues with extraction. After much review and analysis, they determined that the std. extractor and extractor insert (blue) were not providing enough tension, causing the extractor to slip.

A new, stronger, extractor spring and stiffer insert (black) was installed. Colt also developed an even stronger spring and insert (gold) to no effect. The PM (US Army Infantry) said that the 5-coil spring and black insert was "good enough".

NSW was still having extraction issues with their M-4 and they reached out to other's in the industry for assistance (because by now SOCOM felt that Colt was not 'respecting' them, vis-a-vie their issues with the M-4).

One of the companies that came to IN, was MGI. In due course, Mack designed a elastomer insert that provided constant pressure so that the extractor would not lose tension and continue to grip the case rim. He designed this to provide at least 30,000 to 50,000 compressions w/o losing its shape and used a material that was heat resistant to at least 700 degrees.

What did Crane do?

After seeing this, and the price tag for each insert (because MGI had to recoup R&D costs as well as make some coin on the deal), they went out and specified Viton ETP O-rings (size 006) that are only rated to 400 degrees and last around 10,000 compressions because the minimum bolt life for the M-4 is 5,000 rounds.

Oh, did I mention that you can pick these up at any well stocked auto repair store for $3.23 per 5 pack at McMaster-Carr?

Where does MGI go to recoup their monies?

Now, the Viton ETP O-ring does most everything the MGI's D-Fender product does, and at 1/20 the price.

That said because the O-ring came from Crane and NSW, it is "the" thing and therefore MGI is just being a crybaby and "overcharging" the consumer.

You want something that does most things the D-Fender will for $0.65 each? Then get the O-ring.

You want something that will last longer than your barrel, but costs ~$12.00. Get the D-Fender.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: RA/XCR Development & Background Info?

Thanks again, RedFalconBill. Great info!
It sure would have been nice if the XCR would have been allowed to compete in the weapons trials!!
 

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Re: RA/XCR Development & Background Info?

Thanks again, RedFalconBill. Great info!
It sure would have been nice if the XCR would have been allowed to compete in the weapons trials!!
Yea, well that was never very likely, despite the empty promises of USSOCOM.

The .gov people gravitate to big companies.

Think about this, RA had produced ~5,000 ~3,000 XCR's to date.

Colt produces 800 M-4's per day.

Which one would you rather deal with if you were a big, bloated, cumbersome, bureaucracy?

ETA: 05/18/08 Per Terra, I will amend the above number from roughly 5,000 to around 3,000.
 

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Re: RA/XCR Development & Background Info?

Where did you get the ~5000 number from? The highest serial number i've seen on this forum is in the 2300s that's a big jump to 5000.
 

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Re: RA/XCR Development & Background Info?

Mickey, Terra says that the numbers shipped are between 3000 and 5000. I too haven't seen any serial numbers that high but I know there are way more owners out there that are not on the forums.
 

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Re: RA/XCR Development & Background Info?

Well, if Terra says it is so, then that's Gospel.
 

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Re: RA/XCR Development & Background Info?

Mickey, Terra says that the numbers shipped are between 3000 and 5000. I too haven't seen any serial numbers that high but I know there are way more owners out there that are not on the forums.
It's a rough estimate. I really don't have an exact number. :-X


The serial #s can be very erratic. We shipped # XL00104 on Friday. :duh:

Honestly, I think there's *almost* 3000 out there.
 
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